Pitfalls of Contacting Listing Agent Directly

You see a great house online and contact the agent to view the property. After touring the home, you’re ready to make an offer. So you go back to the showing agent’s office to draw up the paperwork.
What’s missing from this scenario?
The agent who’s selling the property works for the seller, not you. Although that doesn’t mean he or she will treat you unfairly, it does mean that the agent’s top priority is selling the property for the highest price.

There are real estate agents, called buyer’s agents, who will put your interests ahead of a seller’s. Here are a few other reasons why hiring a buyer’s agent may benefit you:

  • You won’t have to play phone tag. A buyer’s agent will handle communications with sellers and sellers’ representatives. Instead of countless phone calls from unknown sources, everything will be filtered through the agent before it reaches you.
  • The agent will keep the transaction moving. Do you know what deadlines you’ll have to meet with earnest money, financing and other contract performance measures? The buyer’s agent does.
  • It doesn’t cost you extra. In most markets, the seller pays any real estate commissions. Plus, you’ll have an expert negotiator working for you to help move the terms of the deal in your favor.
  • You’ll reduce your legal risk. It might sound far-fetched, but poorly handled real estate transactions can easily dissolve into legal proceedings. Unless you’re familiar with the real estate laws and regulations in your city, county and state, you’re exposing yourself to potential legal liability.

Not the only solution
Buyer’s agents aren’t the answer for everyone. If you’ve bought and sold several properties, maybe hiring an attorney to review the paperwork will suffice and you may be able to get more concessions from the seller if negotiated properly so that the seller’s agent doesn’t get both sides of the transaction.


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